Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life

Makoto Mizobuchi – Viz – 2011 – 1 volume

I like the Pokemon Adventures manga quite a bit. It’s simple, engaging, and fun, and one of those series that’s good for kids and pretty fun for adults that might want to read along with them, too. I do like the Pokemon series a lot, and I was in the mood for some more manga since the new Black and White games had come out this week. This is an adaptation of the most recent movie in the US, and while it is a pretty good adaptation, it isn’t quite as charming as the Pokemon Adventures manga and is a whole lot more action-packed and dire since, well, that’s what movies do.

It stars the characters from the anime, including Ash and his Pikachu, along with his human traveling companions Brock and Dawn. Team Rocket is also in there for about a second, but they don’t play a role at all. Ash and company run across some ruins, and there they witness a battle between Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, three legendary pokemon that rule time, space, alternate dimensions, et cetera. Miraculously, a girl wanders in and stops their battle, with some help from Ash. She introduces herself as Sheena, a girl who can see into the hearts of pokemon, and explains that the legendary monsters were fighting because Arceus seems to be drawing their dimensions together. She then explains that Arceus is due to show up at any moment and kill all of humanity due to a backstab by Sheena’s relative in the past, and in order to stop it, Sheena asks Giratina to send Ash and company into the past to try and stop her relative from angering Arceus.

I had a hard time at the beginning of the story since I still can’t tell Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina apart (Giratina is a worm, I guess), but their role isn’t very important. The time travel element is pretty interesting, but once it happens, it’s pretty clear that the three are going to stop what happened and make things right. There aren’t too many twists and turns, other than some well-placed hypnosis and the fact that thousands of years in the past, pokemon were called “magic monsters.”

My money is still on Pokemon Adventures, but this is still a pretty decent adaptation manga in that the whole plot is there, everything makes sense, and we still get to see plenty of pokemon battles and other exciting things. Honestly, kids will probably like it a whole lot more than I did since my only complaint is that it’s a little formulaic, and I can see it going over especially well with the ones who have seen the movie.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.


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